FICTION THAT CONNECTS THE PAST WITH THE PRESENT

None can question our familiarity with historical fiction and its varied sub-genres such as traditional, fantasies, romances, mysteries, thrillers, adventures, time-travel, western, alternate histories, literary and Christian novels. Since I have been experimenting with this genre for more than a year, in my earnestness to ascertain the benefits of this genre to both the readers and the writers, I delved into exploratory research and unearthed a few irrefutable facts about the rewards one could reap from reading historical fiction.

A guest writer on Irv Lampman’s website listed the four major advantages of reading historical fiction as entertainment, knowledge, growing imagination, and cognitive skills. Being able to relate to the listed profits, I deconstructed these to suit my purpose, which is to understand the usefulness of this genre. I am not afraid to share the deconstructed version with you. Historical fiction, which is based on the past events and ancient settings, undoubtedly provides an escape route from the harsh contemporary realities, “far from the madding crowd”. It transports the readers into an informative world, which supplies the latter with the social and political context indispensable for the thorough comprehension of the story line set in the specific era.  The author’s skill transforms the words on the page into visual scenes that leave an everlasting impression on our minds thereby enhancing our sense of imagination and creativity to the extent that we can think outside the box fearlessly and approach challenges in life in a strategic and innovative way.

To a writer, historical fiction is a medium through which he or she establishes connections between the present and the past successfully. People who find the subject ‘History’ uninteresting have no major issues picking up a historical fiction for entertainment or recreation. This tendency of the readers shows that only writers know how to introduce the culture, lifestyle, historically significant places, clothes, food, popular practices of the specific age, the impact of significant events or occurrences on people who lived during the period and their emotions which influence their actions or decisions in a realistic way. The portrayal enables readers to understand people around them and the world in which they live better as they become capable of making comparisons between the past and the present and arrive at a conclusion about where they are now in terms of everything, especially governance. We learn lessons from our past and gain strength in the realization that history can be similar.

The challenges revolving around writing historical fiction cannot be made more explicit than the presenter in the included video clip.  

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